Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Will You NOT Come To Vegas...

...if it costs you 3 percent more per room night?

The Nevada Assembly today by a 35-7 passed a room-tax increase of 3 percent for Washoe and Clark counties. The move is supposed to raise $233 million for the cash-strapped state.

Lots of Republicans voted in support and even Gov. Jim Gibbons, a read-my-lips kinda guy himself, has included the money in his budget. But some of the seven who voted against it think this will further doom the tourism industry. To wit, the AP reported:

"Our tourism-based economy here in Nevada is hemorrhaging jobs," said one of the GOP opponents, Assemblyman Ty Cobb of Reno. "I think it's going to hurt rather than help."

Look for the R-J editorial board tomorrow to praise the seven dissenters and predict doom. But I ask you, since so many of you readers here are tourists: Would you really not come here if your $100 room cost $3 more?

Just wondering. The State Senate still has to vote on this.

14 comments:

Jamie said...

anyone who would skip their trip over $3 was not a legitimate customer anyway. So no. This is not why the Strip is dying.

Anonymous said...

Which straw breaks the camel's back?
Which additional charge stops me from coming?
The list of additional taxes and fees that are being assessed against travelers is long and getting longer. The highway toll, the parking tax, the airport security fee, airfare taxes, rental car taxes, car battery disposal taxes, and there are surely 30 more out there.
So does the additional $3 dollars keep me home?
It's part of the cumulative mass that eventually does.

Anonymous said...

It's not $3 -- it's 3 percent. And 3 percent is going to be more than $3.

Canadian Boys said...

We are a couple that visits LV 4-6 times a year. We travel elsewhere as well - and as we travel so much are concerned about rising air ticket prices and hotel rates. At first blush a 3% tax increase on LV rooms seems marginal - but added on to rising hotel rates, this does make a difference. When you add all the increases from air/hotel/food etc. well we wonder if we should be making better choices where we go. LV has become well...so routine and soooo very pedestrian unfriendly that its a chore to get anywhere on the strip on foot. And while we rent a car - its often parked. Our biggest bitch will be if your taxing us more - what are we getting in return? No tram/rail runs down the strip to Downtown...and from a tourist perspective besides the casinos LV is a bigger cultural desert than Redrock Canyon. Downtown COULD and SHOULD be great - but getting there from the strip is a chore & the Deuce is er...a laugh at best. Yes we have the rental, but we drink (were Canadians and do not do anything in moderation :) and drinking and driving is a no no. We used to cab it everywhere - but that is very costly and traffic does not move. The shows on the strip can be fun but are hit and miss and if you see most of them there is not much new. And while we pop into the odd Gay bar now and then, the Gay scene is well...non existant. Less so from my online read of the LVR and the LV Sun (Never been to Lucky Chengs and tried to avoid LeC age but my partner dragged me in under protest.

Perhaps first times won't "see" the 3% increase but regulars will. Given the state of the US economy - you gotta wonder about the logic in increasing tax in a depressed economy. Although we have 2 trips booked for LV (March and Sept), we were going to come down in June and July as well. I guess if we get comps it will not matter much - but we are tiring on LV. But then there are no free lunches (even if I listen to Steve Friess under duress because thats the last one showing on my iPhone :) ha ha. I also follow Steve on Twitter but do not know how to message on Twitter. I loved the live tweets on the OJ Trial. TheStrip Podcast btw helps stimulate us to visit LV. The Wynn piece was great. Maybe you guys should petition for some of that money back to local LV broadcasters/podcasters who are promoting LV.

CB

MrsVJW said...

We usually get a couple nights comped, and I don't think we've ever looked at the details of the room bill. I don't know... if you are comped the whole time, does the money come out of your pocket or the casino's pocket? Or are they really only going after the casual traveler or business traveler that is paying a regular hotel rate?

THE STRIP PODCAST said...

Anon #2: I picked $3 because it seemed beyond my comprehension that anyone willing to spend $200 for a room would be dissuaded by another $6 charge. The $100 rooms, though, I can going to the folks who are being more cautions with their money.

CB: Room rates in Vegas have been falling, not rising, in the past year or more. And I challenge you to find the kind of room you can get at Bellagio for even double the price in SF or NY. But thanks for the kind words otherwise!

Anonymous said...

No, it would not make a difference to me personally.

$3 is not a significant sum when it comes to a hotel room.

Still, seems misguided to increase taxes on tourists when visitation rates are falling. Has 'bad PR' written all over it.

--Hunter

Dutchvegas said...

We visit Las Vegas three times a year. We are from Europe and a 3% increase on room tax does not keep us away. But i wonder if its the smart thing todo right now. On the other hand i do understand they need the cash.

Normally we pay about on avarage 125 dollar per night for 8 nights. So that weill be an increase of 30 dollar. No it won`t keep us away...

BobK said...

3% isn't much when you consider the mandatory "resort fees" of $25 that aren't listed in most of the travel booking sites.

Anonymous said...

No..it won't keep us from visiting Vegas. But it still
pisses me off. Sometimes..no, often..it appears the
politicians in Nevada and elsewhere can't discern what actually drives economies. In Nevada, it's obviously gaming and tourism. Then your assembly of elected airheads choose to strangle more of the oxygen out of the lungs of the already short-winded tourism and gaming industry (by enacting higher taxation on a business element that doesn't need any further strangulation; these hotels are attempting to entice our patronage..why can't the
governing nitwits see that?). The degree of added taxation here likely won't be noticed much by future Vegas visitors..but the political premise and principal of it is analogous to cutting off the hand that feeds your state. There's something even more sinister involved with it on the politicians part BECAUSE it is so subtle and relatively small on the surface. Ugh!

Anonymous said...

Others summed it very well, it's additional nickel and diming of the people you want to come to Vegas and spend real money in the casinos, restaurants, spas, etc. It's not good business to make the mark feel like the mark when he/she has so many other alternatives out there.

S

Anonymous said...

The problem is that it's rare that taxes go down. It's 9% now, right? So another 3% brings it to 12%. It's not a dealbreaker in terms of visiting, but visitors might end up cutting back on more expensive rooms as the tax adds up over multiple nights. Yes, LV rooms tend to be inexpensive. But a 12% tax is awfully steep.

Anonymous said...

As a Clark County School District teacher, I have to say that the real bad guy here is our 'governor.' Since he can't govern very well, our state is in shambles... and the first thing he wants to cut is funding for education. Trust me, the schools, and therefore the future of this city, hangs in the balance, and this 3% tax is a last resort effort to keep the school system funded. From where I'm sitting, it's not a great idea, but when the pols have dropped the ball, what are we to do? Close the schools??? It's a sad day here in Nevada, as the gov's proposed 36% cut to higher ed (UNLV, etc) will effectively end the college system here. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Nooooooooo,

That means I'll have to play one less $3.00 blackjack hand at Hooters!